COVID-19 or coronavirus has now been named a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The UK government has now advised people to stay away from mass gatherings to prevent the risk of the virus spreading and to self-isolate if a member of your household has shown symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of the coronavirus are:
- A new and continuous cough
- High temperature
What to do if you are showing symptoms?
If you start to show the above symptoms, stay at home for 7 days. If there are other people within your household, you should all stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person showed symptoms.
It is not advised to visit a doctor’s surgery, hospital or pharmacist if symptoms are mild as this may cause the virus to spread.
If you feel you cannot cope with the symptoms at home, your conditions become worse or they do not get better after 7 days, use the NHS 111 Online Coronavirus Service to receive further advice. Click here to access the Online Coronavirus Service. If you are unable to get help online, please call 111.
How do I stop the spread of the virus?
Washing your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with antibacterial hand wash and water will help prevent the spread. The video below by the NHS shows how to wash your hands properly.
Hands should be washed:
- before leaving home
- on arrival at work
- after using the toilet
- after breaks and sporting activities
- before food preparation
- before administering medication
- before eating any food, including snacks
- before leaving work
- on arrival at home
Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are unavailable. If you cough or sneeze, make sure you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue straight away and thoroughly wash your hands. Try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes if your hands are not clean.
Avoid gatherings of a lot of people if you can, such as concerts, theatres, restaurants and pubs, and only travel on public transport if you need to.
Who is at risk of the coronavirus?
People who have an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus who need to be more stringent to follow social distancing measures.
The groups most at risk are:
- aged 70 and over
- those with an underlying health condition
- chronic respiratory diseases and conditions
- chronic heart disease
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological conditions
- problems with the spleen
- a weakened immune system
- seriously overweight
- people with complex health problems (such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, received an organ transplant, etc.)
- those who are pregnant
As COVID-19 is a new string of the coronavirus, research is still being carried out to find out more about the virus and how it can be combatted. New information is released regularly to help stop the spread of the virus and protect more people. To find out more about coronavirus, please visit the below websites.